Monday, January 2, 2012

Expansion Joints Challenge, part 38: Resolve

When this exercise was hosted over at Porky's Expanse!, he always chose the word for the Expanders! challenge based on some relevant happening or theme. I'm trying to keep the tradition going. This past week saw the start of a new year in the Gregorian calendar, a time when many people vow to make positive changes in their lives. It also saw the official end of the US/Iraq conflict , although it certainly remains to be seen whether the problems in Iraq can truly come to a harmonious close. In New York's Zucotti Park, a New Year's Eve re-Occupation tested the commitment of protesters to brave arrest (in some cases, for simply walking on sidewalks in the area.) Closer to home, I'm formally pledging to spend more time doing things that make my heart, hopefully, you'll be seeing me around here more. With this in mind, the word for the week is "resolve".

If you aren't familiar with the Expansion Joints project, it all began over at Porky's Expanse!.

The rules are just as they are described over at Porky's: as much narrative as you can cram into fifteen words, one of which must be the word of the week.

This can take the form of

1. An epyllion,or litle epic, a stand-alone fifteen-word narrative, or

2. An epos, or 'epic'. Instead of an independent 15-word story, you can choose to develop someone else's story from a previous week, or extend your own story from week to week. Just write the next installment. If it has 15 words, uses the word of the week, and continues the story, you've done it.

There are two important things to think about if you choose epos. First, you should have the permission of the person who wrote the story you will develop. If anyone writes a 15-word epyllion or adds to an epos and is happy for others to develop it later, please say so, with something like 'for use in an epos'. Second, by using specific elements of someone else's story, we technically create a derivative work, so it's best to avoid this.

There are a number of generous contributors who have given express permission to use some of their writing as the basis for epos:

Porky, the founder of the project, offers up all of his contributions.

GDMNW has opened up the three stories here.

Dave G_Nplusplus makes any of his Expanders! stories available for use in an epos.

Arlequin has an epos running on his Expanders! page, and he has graciously extended permission to play with any or all of the contributions there.

Andy, over at The Creepy Corridor, has also made his epos posts available for expansion.

C'nor, at Lunching on Lamias, gives consent to use any of his entries, which are partly located on his blog, but mostly strewn throughout the comment threads here.

And, as always, feel free to use any of the stories on this blog that are tagged as "Expansion Joints" in an epos.

Words that have previously made an appearance in an Expanders!/Expansion Joints include: food, fort, stuff, elf, rogue, pass, fool, hammer, note, temper, table, twisted, missing, sacrifice, spirit, rush, tie, line, free, break, cut, opening, close, shock, balance, field, blow, file, die, fall, vent, skip, back, stand, plague beat, pin, and present, in case you are of an historical bent, or wish to write a complete set.

When you've finished writing your entry for this week, either post your 15-word story directly in the comments here, or leave a link in the comments to the blog page where we can find it.


  1. I hope very much we will be. I'm still on last week's, but it should be up in just a bit, and then I'll get to thinking on this one.

  2. Thinking over. One for the moms who feel like machines, or perhaps even are.

    Video games tested mom's resolve, she burned out and dad found a younger model ='(.

  3. @Porky - this puts me in mind of Mudd's Women.

    My contribution for the week is here. I'm fighting off the flu, so not sure when I'll get the new one up, but it is good to be back, even a little bit...and it is always great to see you here.

  4. I sketched it with 'resolution', as if mom really was a monitor, and then remembered it was 'resolve'. It still works, barely, but the current form prompts much more of a reaction, a questioning of standards with luck.